We can all appreciate the important role a nutrious diet plays in our general health but few people realize that it can also play a large role in our reproductive health too. Some of these simple changes will help keep you in ideal baby making condition. You should never exclude any food from your diet without discussing the reasons with your Doctor.
By eating lots of complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grain breads, brown rice, stone-ground cornmeal, and oatmeal you will be nourishing you will not only being doing your general health a favor but your reproductive health too. Unlike other carb's, complex carb's are good for your blood sugar and anything that is good for insulin function is good for fertility.
Monounsaturated, Polyunsatured, Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Aah, the good oil! Saturated fats have been linked to many health concerns but your body will actually thank you for unsatuarted fats You'll find these fats in nuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds and deep sea fish like tuna and sardines. Two serves of fish each week and a serve of nuts and seeds each day will help to reduce inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity.
Not just any old protein - we're talking vegetable proteins. Protein from plant sources like beans, peas, and peanuts has been associated with increased fertility. Beans are also high in iron, another fertility-helper.
Full-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products are rich in calcium which is not only vital for bone health but has also been found to be an important fertility nutrient. Harvard studies have shown that women who eat full fat foods (whole milk, yoghurt etc) have fewer issues with ovulation. So...that's right, now you can actually feel good about reaching for the full fat ice-cream - yippee. There's so much variety to be had with dairy, from milkshakes ohome that I don't want to Overwhelm
Fresh Fruit & Veg
This is a no-brainer but so many benefits where do I start!? Fresh fruit and vegetables are full folate which is beneficial for neural tube problems . They are full of antioxidents which promote not just your general well being but your reproductive health too. A. healthy diet should be built around fruit and veg - and whole grains.
Gone are the times when an apple a day kept the Doctor away - but you will be happy to hear the experts say two fruit and five veg each day will do the job. Many of the important nutrients found in fruit and veg are easily destroyed in the cooking process. Try steaming your veg and eat fresh wherever possible - you're body will love you for it.
Ah nuts! (and pulses)
As the steroids of the food world, nuts, seeds and pulses are brilliant for giving you reproductive system the extra nourishment needed to run the whole mile. They contain plant chemicals called phytosterols, which have been linked to improving testosterone production. Sunflower seeds are the ultimate steroid of the nuts & pulses family and will also do wonders for your body. For men with fertility issues, nuts are rich in magnesium which is beneficial in the sperm making process... but what you really need is almonds. Almonds are regarded as the most nutrient-containing nut high in important reproductive system nutrients including zinc and L-arginine.
Also known as the "viagra' of the Aztec world (and our favourite aphrodisiac), chocolate is known for releasing feel-good chemicals. Chocolate / pure cacao is rich in the mood-enhancing amino acids and is both a sedative that relaxes, and a stimulant that increases desire. Yes...there's a lot of truth in the saying - "Just hand over the chocolate and nobody gets hurt!"
One particular study has shown that garlic can significantly increase in the weight of seminal vesicles, epididymides and the sperm counts were also significantly elevated. I wouldn't recommend this study though - the garlic was administered as 100mg per kilo of body weight in drinking water....eurk!
For more information about the foods you should be eating - and avoiding - to kick start your fertility cclick here.